Prime Lenses Definition – Canon Prime Lenses

What means Prime lens?

In photography, The term Prime lens is used to describe the lens with focal length is fixed. It’s opposed to a zoom lens which has a variable focal length.

Canon prime lenses

Prime lens is less flexible focal length than a zoom lens but its advantages are more, it have superior optical quality, smaller size, lighter weight and wider maximum aperture. With fewer moving parts and optical elements optimized for one paticular focal length, so it is less complicated lens formula which means that a prime lens produce good quality images, low optical aberration within economy price.

Something you should know about prime lens

Prime lens make you work harder

You can’t just stand and zoom in or out by twist the lens like a zoom lens. Prime lens only have one focal length, to get closer to a subject or to get a nice frame, you have to move your feet.

Lighter weight, smaller size

Prime lenses were design with less moving parts which means that in many cases prime lenses are lighter, smaller and more compact than their zoom siblings.

Higher images quality

The most obvious advantage of prime lenses is image quality. Duo to simple design of optical element, prime lens get much less distorted, chromatic aberration and more technically correct image than shoot with a zoom lens.

Faster than zoom lens
Another advantage of prime lens is the speed. Most of prime lens offer a wide aperture. For example, the fastest Canon lens is EF 50mm f/1.0L USM, it is one of the Canon prime lenses.

Canon Prime Lenses (EF Mount)

Canon prime lenses

Canon had manufactured prime lenses following focal length: 14mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, 800mm. They are categorized into 6 groups.

Ultra-Wide Canon prime lenses

Prime Lenses with focal length around 14 to 21mm are categorized into ultra-wide.

There are 2 models of Ultra-Wide Canon prime lense.

1. EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

2. EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

Wide Canon prime lenses

Focal length around 24 to 35mm are categorized into wide angle lenses. Canon have developed prime lenses with 24mm, 28mm and 35mm focal lengths.


1. EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

2. 24mm f/2.8 IS USM


1. EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

2. EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM


1. EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

2. EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

Standard Canon prime lenses

Focal length of Standard prime lenses is 50mm, which is like human eye’s field of view.

See Canon 50mm prime lenses

Portrait Canon prime lenses

EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

EF 100mm f/2 USM

EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Telephoto Canon prime lenses

EF 135mm f/2L USM

EF 135mm f/2L USM

Super Telephoto Canon prime lenses

EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM

EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM

EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM

EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM

EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM


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